July 6, 2012
Libya’s transitional government has quietly reactivated the surveillance technology it inherited from the Gaddafi regime, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The technology is been used to track the mobile phone calls and online communications of Gaddafi loyalists. Government officials told the paper that they have seen dozens of phone or Internet-chat transcripts, one of which featured a phone call between Saadi Gaddafi, exiled son of the former dictator, and a supporter inside Libya. Saadi Gaddafi fled to Niger during the course of the civil war that ousted his father.
Libya’s caretaker government has established created two national-security agencies—Preventive Security and Foreign Security. Salem al-Hasi, 50, a former language teacher at a US military college, has been appointed as Libya’s new national intelligence chief. Hasi’s deputy, Mustafa Nu’ah, denied claims that the transitional government was using electronic surveillance.”We don’t have the staff or know-how to do this,” Nu’ah told the WSJ.
However this account is contradicted by two unnamed government officials and a high-ranking security official who spoke to the paper. Security briefings routinely feature transcripts of phone calls or internet chats. It’s unclear how many people are under surveillance but the National Transitional Council might be particularly inclined to switch on in the run-up to elections, due to take place this weekend.
This article was posted: Friday, July 6, 2012 at 1:15 am